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Darklock

Georgia

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Posted: 03/20/21 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have ordered some solar panels to put on my TT. I bought the 200 watt kit from Renogy. I doubt that I will be able to determine where the structural members are, so there is the very real possibility that if I just use screws they will only be into the plywood decking. In any other applications, I would trust this, but not for going down the highway at 60mph. Therefore, I am thinking of using expanding well nuts. Good plan? Or does the collective here feel that the screws should be enough?
Also, what is best sealant to insure no leaks? No clue what the roof surface is. TT is a Gulfstream Conquest.
Bil

Lwiddis

Williams AZ area

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Posted: 03/20/21 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The great fear of solar panels littering the roadways didn’t happen but I’d still use the well nuts. Dicor wholly seals my holes. PS I suggest wiring for four hundred solar watts...then you can easily add panels. 200 might be insufficient.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


RJsfishin

Winston Or.

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Posted: 03/20/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The screws and adheasive chalking umder and over brackets and screws will do it.
Just believe it !


Rich

'01 31' Rexall Vision, Generac 5.5k, 1000 watt Honda, PD 9245 conv, 300 watts Solar, 150 watt inv, 2 Cos 6v batts, ammeters, led voltmeters all over the place, KD/sat, 2 Oly Cat heaters w/ ox, and towing a 2012 Liberty, Lowe bass boat, or a Kawi Mule.


Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast

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Posted: 03/20/21 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3M double sided VHS tape, No. 4950, is probably holding many thousands of solar panels on RV roofs for years - and not a single report of one ever not working. The best leak seal of all is no seal needed.


Ed - on the Central Oregon coast
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Housted

Los Angeles, CA

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Posted: 03/20/21 10:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have 8 solar panels on my 5er. All are held on with Z brackets and coarse ss screws. The screws are driven through a blob of dicor and then the screw head is covered with dicor. No holes were drilled for the screws so they hold very well. Been like that for years.
BTW if you use double side tape you are depending on the glue holding the rubber roof on. If you use the tape on the frame of the panel you can maybe get enough to hold, but you then have no air circulation under the panels, so they may overheat in the summer sun.

Housted


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  • 2oldman

    NM

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    Posted: 03/20/21 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Darklock wrote:

    Or does the collective here feel that the screws should be enough?
    Screws work well for me. And lots of Dicor. Still on my roof after 15 years.

    You'll know when you put the first one in if it's strong enough.

    Boon Docker

    Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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    Posted: 03/20/21 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    I used #10 stainless steel sheet metal screws.
    Drill a small pilot hole (1/4 the width if the screw), put Dicor on top of pilot hole, snug up the screw (don't over tighten), cover the screw with more Dicor.

    ajriding

    st clair

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    Posted: 03/20/21 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    SO, by saying "ply-wood" we assume you have a rubber roof?
    Your only option is to screw the mounts into the roof them, you cannot glue or tape the mounts in as this would only adhere to the rubber membrane and not the wood.
    Not a big deal, use the sealant as others suggest.
    You WILL NOT get 60mph winds across the top of your roof!
    You WILL NOT have panels getting hit by highway speed winds!
    There is just too much turbulence across a roof, air will churn, roll and wip in all directions. You could almost just lay the panels on the roof and drive and they would not blow off (for a while), but do not try this...
    Keep the panels off the roof just enough (1/2 inch) that air can circulate under them as the panels need to be keep cool by circulating air under them.
    I used aluminum L-bracket on the front and rear edges (front facing going down the road), this keeps air from entering under the panel and lifting it off, keeps rain water from flowing under, not that it matters...
    Mount the brackets however is best for that spot on your roof though.
    Make sure the AC unit or vent covers will not be casting a shadow too often, mount them away from structures when possible.
    IF you can run the panels in series you can use smaller gauge wire and less wire.
    Mount then at the front so the rear roof of the trailer has less junk on it, this way the air leaving the end of the trailer is as smooth as possible, which will be better handling.

    ktmrfs

    Portland, Oregon

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    Posted: 03/20/21 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Housted wrote:

    I have 8 solar panels on my 5er. All are held on with Z brackets and coarse ss screws. The screws are driven through a blob of dicor and then the screw head is covered with dicor. No holes were drilled for the screws so they hold very well. Been like that for years.
    BTW if you use double side tape you are depending on the glue holding the rubber roof on. If you use the tape on the frame of the panel you can maybe get enough to hold, but you then have no air circulation under the panels, so they may overheat in the summer sun.

    Housted


    same here on my 3 larger 200W panels. And for the effect of wind. There are two components of the force exerted on an object by the wind. (1) speed, and (2) surface area after accounting for the drag coefficient.

    In the case of solar panels the surface area exposed to the wind is minimal. Airflow over and under the panel may create some lift or downforce. But in the end there really isn't much force on the panels especially considering the airflow is not laminar.

    Now if the roof is a smooth fiberglass roof, then 3M VHB tape properly applied. (that means also using the proper cleaning and proper adhesive promoter and proper application) is likely to work well also. But IMHO NEVER on a rubber roof.


    2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
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    Vintage465

    Prunedale CA.

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    Posted: 03/20/21 08:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

    Darklock wrote:

    I have ordered some solar panels to put on my TT. I bought the 200 watt kit from Renogy. I doubt that I will be able to determine where the structural members are, so there is the very real possibility that if I just use screws they will only be into the plywood decking. In any other applications, I would trust this, but not for going down the highway at 60mph. Therefore, I am thinking of using expanding well nuts. Good plan? Or does the collective here feel that the screws should be enough?
    Also, what is best sealant to insure no leaks? No clue what the roof surface is. TT is a Gulfstream Conquest.
    Bil


    I'm a well-nut fan. Though I have to say there is a fair amount data indicating the wind blows over the top of the panels and doesn't try and get under them as peel them off. I traveled across the US with panels that were just screwed into the 3/8" plywood as installed by the dealer. When I re-did my solar I removed the panels and used well-nuts to be sure.


    V-465
    2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

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